As convenient and groundbreaking as the internet is, with the power to connect people from one side of the planet to the other, it can also come with a considerable amount of safety concerns.
With so much of your sensitive data stored online, from your personal information to your financial data, this can make us incredibly vulnerable to malicious cyber criminals.
If you make the wrong move, you could find yourself more than inconvenienced— you may just find yourself in financial trouble or even in trouble with the law. For this reason, following careful online safety measures is essential. To help you stay safe, and enjoy all of the positive aspects of the internet, here are 4 tips for staying safe while browsing.
Use Strong Passwords
As much as you might like to think that you have an original password that no one can guess, usually it’s easier to do than you think. The name of your pet or the year your child was born is something that it’s fairly easy for hackers to guess.
Choose a strong password full of plenty of characters, letters, and numbers. Besides using a strong password, you also want to make sure that your passwords are different for each different login. If a hacker manages to guess the password of one, then they’ll have access to everything, which could be extremely dangerous.
Don’t Open Suspicious Links
If you receive an e-mail containing a link, or an attachment, it’s always best to leave it alone. This type of malicious attack known as a phishing scam, will attempt to trick you into revealing your personal information or financial data.
Always double check the sender’s e-mail address, and look for anything suspicious. One of the most common tactics is attempting to appear like a legitimate business, however, upon close observation you’ll usually notice that they’ve changed the e-mail address ever so slightly by adding an extra character or letter.
Keep Your Software Updated
It’s important that you regularly update your operating system so that it’s up to date with the latest security patches. This includes everything from your phone to your computer. Additionally, you should make sure that your antivirus software is regularly updated so it recognizes any new malware or malicious attacks.
Usually these updates are automatic, so they’ll happen in the background without you having to do a thing.
Be Careful What You Share
While social media is intended to bring us closer to others, it can also leave you vulnerable if you share too much information. For example, you want to make sure you don’t share sensitive information about yourself like your social security number or personal home address.
You also want to make sure that you’re careful about what photos you share. For example, sharing a photo of yourself standing in front of your home could easily reveal what your address is. When in doubt, always err on the side of caution.